The Grace Effect by Larry Alex Taunton

This is the true story of the adoption of a Ukranian orphan little girl by an American (the author) and his famiy who are of christian beliefs. The book chronicles the Amerian family's trips to Ukrainia until the paperwork is finally done and they can take their new daughter back home with them.
It explores the shortcomings of the country, Unkrainia, concerning the courts, the orphanage, even the hotels. Now all of this may be realistic, or real enough in some cases, but the thing is, the book does not simply describe reality in this country. It compares the country to America. Or, more accurately, to the author's experience of America. It attempts to explain why, dut to the fact that Americans are largely of christian beliefs, their country is much better than a European country ridden by atheistic beliefs.

While I don't for a minute question the charity and importance of what the Tauntons did by adopting this wonderful little girl, I very strongly disagree with the message of this book. 
It is whiny about the conditions in Ukrainia, and I am sorry, but this is in no way true christian spirit. 
And on top of that a great amount of arrogance comes out on the part of the author, concerning his country, his family, even himself.

The grace effect, my dear Mr Taunton, is not the fact that America is a more compassionate country than Ukrainia. The grace effect is not that you, as an American, chose to show mercy to an orphan.
Every country is evil although not in the same way, because human beings are evil.
America destroys people as effectively as Ukrainia, let me tell you that, or England or China or Greece. It is people that lack grace, not countries.
And its source, the source of grace, is a person, not a place, not a civilization.
It is Jesus Christ who chose to give His life for us, whether we American or European or anything else.

I do understand what he wants to say in this book, I do realize the advantages of growing up in a country inbred with christian values as opposed to gorwing up in atheism. But that alone cannot save you. That alone cannot change the world. That alone is not the grace effect.
God is.

I found none of the above message in this book.
If the author had let his actions speak for themselves, this might have been a decent book.
The story is very touching actually, especially when it comes to the author's three sons. 
But the grace effect of Christianity, as stated at the beginning of this book, correctly, I may add, should not have been displayed in the "americanity" of the author but rather in his own christianity.

Rating: 2/5

I received this book from Booksneeze.

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